THE region has England's best screening uptake for a form of aneurysm.

More than 88 per cent of men eligible to be screened for an Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) in

Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin were scanned – the highest uptake in the country.

That’s all down to the efforts of the AAA screening team run by The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital

NSH Trust (SaTH).

They screened more than 2,500 men over the age of 65 for the aneurysm, which

could be life threatening if not detected early enough.

An Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) is a swelling in the aorta – the main blood vessel that runs from

the heart down through the chest.

It can get bigger over time and could burst, causing life-threatening bleeding.

Men aged over 65 are at the most risk of AAAs, which is why they are invited to be screened.

The AAA screening team, based at The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH), scanned 2,589 men in

2017-2018, which is 88.4 per cent of those initial men eligible to be scanned - the highest nationally according to the NHS AAA Screening Programme (NAAASP) National Standards Report from Public Health England.

In Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, screening is delivered by SaTH’s technicians in community

settings such as GP practices, clinics and at both the RSH and Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in


A simple ultrasound test is performed to detect AAA, which is quick, painless and non-invasive - and

the results are provided straight away. It is part of a dedicated NHS programme to reduce the number

of premature aneurysm-related deaths through early detection, monitoring and treatment.

Jessica Smith, AAA Programme co-ordinator at SaTH, said: “This is a fantastic achievement by the

whole team who have worked incredibly hard to ensure that anyone eligible to have the scan was able

to have it.

“They have telephoned patients to remind them about their appointments and the importance of

attending, and they have even managed to get GP surgeries on board to send text reminders.

"The team is absolutely committed to ensuring that those who are eligible to have the test know about it and

come along to be scanned as it could save their life.”